Like any other group, the Spring Fair staff has had its fair share of traditions. In a goofy rite of passage, all freshmen have the “honor” of participating in “Costume Hours.” Throughout fair, freshmen have to wear silly costumes and venture to the “Kids’ Quad” to entertain the younger guests of fair. Working on few hours of sleep, the costumed members of staff not only have to put on their best act for the kids, but also need to find any way to avoid their friends, who might hope to catch them in a Dr. Seuss getup or a banana suit.
As a public event, Spring Fair has also received public recognition. Within the Baltimore area, it is important for fair to not only advertise but to have a positive presence in the community. In years past, the chairs of fair have sent letters to Maryland political figures inviting them to help open the fair or formally invite them to the weekend’s festivities. Some chairs have met with the mayor of Baltimore to receive a proclamation for the success of fair.
Here, 1995 Spring Fair Chairs, James Murphy and Karena Joung pose with Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke. Another forgotten tradition is the “Spring Fair Bible.” The current spring fair chairs would write a wrap-up of their experience on staff and a final section as time they spent as heads, putting together their final year of Spring Fair. It acted as a sort of memoir of their time at Hopkins as well as a guide for the next year’s chairs, offering advice and retelling funny stories from past years. One chair writes in his bible, “Truth hurts but if you’re doing this for your resume, get out now while you can. Trust me, there are a ton of ways to get student activities on your resume.” The members of the staff put in a significant amount of work, especially the chairs: The love of the fair is an important part of working on staff, as the obligations are difficult and numerous. Another chair writes in his bible, “Right off the bat, the call came like a cry in the night. ‘Congratulations, you are the 1994 Spring Fair Chair.’ I hung up the phone ran to the water closet and threw up.” Organizing any sort of event puts a great deal of pressure on its leaders, and something as large as Spring Fair is simultaneously exciting and nerve wracking. These “Bibles,” though a discontinued tradition, show great insight into not only the stress that putting fair on entails but also the sadness and the relief of being finished with (usually) four years of hard work on staff.